In Luke 5:17-26, we read the story of Jesus healing a paralyzed man. That’s an amazing miracle, but that’s not extraordinary.
In the story, the house where Jesus is staying is packed, so the people who brought the man had to tear a hole in the roof and lower him down. That’s an impressive commitment to a friend, but it’s not extraordinary.
As Jesus encounters the man, after his friends have lowered him in, while the people are all waiting to see a miracle, Jesus does something truly extraordinary.
He tells the man, “Your sins are forgiven.”
What’s extraordinary about that is the realization that suddenly this isn’t a story about a paralyzed man. Nor is it a story about the commitment of his friends. Suddenly, it’s a story about us. It’s a story about anyone who needs forgiveness.
Speaking to the crowd that day, Jesus said, “The Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” The pain of our past need not paralyze us. The hurts inflicted on us by others and ourselves have not permanently marked us. One has come who not only has the power to heal but forgive. Whatever we’re struggling with, Jesus’ authority is greater.
Recording the reaction of the crowds in the final verse of the story, Luke writes, “amazement seized them all, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, ‘We have seen extraordinary things today.’”
The word “extraordinary” in Greek, literally means, “alongside glory.” The healing and forgiving did not happen by themselves. They happened alongside the glory that was given to God. Whatever has hurt you, whatever has caused you so much pain and sorrow, cannot only be wiped away but at the same time and result in glory given to God as you heal and are made whole.
What extraordinary things does God have in store for you?
Check out Encounter and Engage, my series over the Gospel of Luke